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21. December 2015

 

FNA began life as a MonoGame port to SDL2.  Since then it has been used to port nearly 40 games to Mac and Linux including Axiom Verge, Terraria and Dust.  Today the first formal release was announced.  The follow excerpt from the formal press release:

Details: After three years of development and dozens of commercially-released ports, developer Ethan "flibitijibibo" Lee is announcing the first official release of the FNA project.

FNA is a brand new open source reimplementation of the Microsoft XNA 4.0 Refresh runtime libraries for Windows, Mac OS X, and GNU/Linux. Originating as a rewrite of MonoGame's desktop platform, FNA features a complete reimplementation of the graphics and audio subsystems in addition to a dramatic increase in portability on the desktop. With a single FNA binary, it is possible to ship for Windows/Mac/Linux without having to recompile for each individual target.

FNA is also a complementary library to the MonoGame project; while MonoGame intends to succeed XNA 4.0, FNA intends to preserve XNA 4.0 with accuracy and preservation as the project's top priorities. With XNA-compliant code and content, a game can be running under FNA with nothing more than a new project file.

Demonstrated as production-ready through over three dozen released titles, FNA has enabled critically-acclaimed titles such as Axiom Verge, Dust: An Elysian Tail, Hacknet, Rogue Legacy, Apotheon, Terraria, and more to be deployed across desktop platforms with confidence. Along with XNA games, a handful of MonoGame titles have also made the move to FNA, including Wyv and Keep, Bleed, Wizorb, and the upcoming 1.12 update for FEZ.

HIGHLIGHTS:

- FNA is now officially released
- A free, open source reimplementation of XNA 4.0
- Windows, Mac, and Linux support with a single binary
- Already ships in dozens of games for Windows/Mac/Linux
- Developed by professional video game porter Ethan Lee

 

FNA source is now available on Github or binaries can be downloaded here. A much longer release blog is available here.

GameDev News


21. December 2015

 

Graphine have released version 3 of their Granite 3 texture streaming technology.  Available stand-alone or as a plugin for Unity and Unreal, Graphine enables you to use gigapixel level texture detail in your game or application.

 

This release brings the following new features:

Detailed Technical Features

  • Greatly improved sparse data handling. Data no longer needs to be available at all resolution levels on all layers.
  • Duplicate tile elimination. Duplicate tiles will be eliminated by the tools and only streamed once at run-time.
  • Support grayscale texture formats (BC4, 8-bit).
  • Large individual GPU caches up to 1GB. Cache sizes are no longer limited to the maximum texture size supported by the GPU.
  • Caches are now build per datatype instead of per layer layout.
  • More efficient cache memory use. Caches can now be shared between tiles sets with a different number of layers and layer datatypes.
  • Significant speedups in Granite core both on the GPU and CPU side. Overall up to 50% CPU and 50% GPU speedup may be seen in the Granite "Tick" per frame update call.
  • Tiling textures are now more efficiently handled reducing memory and bandwidth use.
  • Fixed several cubemap mipmapping issues.
  • New file format (version 3), Granite is backwards compatible with version 2.
  • Improved GPU memory tracking & logging.
  • Separate tool set installer for faster tool updates.
  • Total texture import freedom: Combine single images, tiled images and UDIM images in one stacked texture.
  • Many Tile Set Studio usability improvements.
  • Support for importing custom mipmaps.

 

In other Granite news, released an updated plugin for Unreal 4.10.1:

So what’s new in Granite for Unreal 4.10.1?

  • New GPU cache settings: one global setting with the option to specify the cache size per texture format. It’s easier to use and allows Granite to optimize memory usage even more.
  • Sampling quality can now be set in every individual Granite sample node. This allows a better trade-off between quality and performance on a per-node basis.
  • Large individual GPU caches up to 1GB.
  • Import custom mipmaps.
  • Separate tool set installer for faster tool updates.
  • A number of bugfixes.
  • All other benefits from using Granite SDK 3.0.

GameDev News


19. December 2015

 

Corona, the popular Lua based 2D game development SDK just officially moved Mac support out of beta and into official release status.  On the topic of beta, tvOS support was just released in beta form.  They also announced a beta plugin supporting iCloud integration.

 

From the release announcement:

OS X initial release

As of Daily Build 2015.2795, we are proud to announce that OS X is no longer in beta! We have the core features working at a level where we feel comfortable encouraging you to release apps to the Mac App store. Platforms like this are never complete and there are more features to add, but this marks a stable point in OS X development where we think you can successfully deploy desktop apps for Mac. To learn more, see our Creating OS X Desktop Apps guide.

tvOS now in beta

Additionally, we are removing the “alpha” label from our tvOS support. We believe that you should be able to publish apps to iTunes Connect for tvOS. Of course there is more to do before we can mark this as fully released, but the core features are now in place. You can pick this up inDaily Build 2015.2795 as well. To learn more, check out our Apple TV and tvOS guide.

The iCloud plugin (beta)

We are also pleased to announce the immediate availability of the new iCloud plugin. This plugin lets you store various data types in Apple’s iCloud service. The three main types of data you can store are:

  • Key-Value Storage — This lets you store simple data values like numbers, strings, and tables.
  • Documents — This lets you develop apps where you can save whole files to the cloud and sync them with other devices.
  • CloudKit — This is a full database implementation where you can have public and private database implementations which your app can access from multiple devices.

In its simplest use, iCloud (all three methods) lets you save data from your app to iCloud and retrieve it later when you need it. In addition, if you have your app installed on multiple devices, for example your iPhone and iPad, the app can share data.

To get started with the iCloud plugin, see the documentation and our first tutorial.

GameDev News


17. December 2015

 

The first ever LibGDX Jam starts tomorrow, or today, or yesterday or sometime ago, I suppose it’s all relative to when you read this, isn’t it?  Well temporal factors aside, the first ever LibGDX Game Jam begins/began on Friday Dec 18th.  It is called creatively enough #LibGDXJam.  The rules and prizes from this jam are:

The 10 Rules of Jamming

The jam will be held from December 18th to January 18th. Here are the rules:

  1. You must use libGDX to create a game that fits the theme.
  2. You may work alone or in a team. Only one submission per person/team is allowed.
  3. You may use pre-existing code, e.g. libraries like Ashley, or your own code libraries.
  4. You may use pre-existing art, e.g. assets from OpenGameArt, or your own art.
  5. You may use external tools like Tiled or Overlap2D.
  6. You must not re-skin an already existing game or prototype!
  7. You must submit your game before the end of the 18th of January via the jam’s site on itch.io (to be made public).
  8. You must publish the source of your game, e.g. to GitHub.
  9. You must submit your game to the itch.io libGDX Jam page before the end of day January 18th, UTC-12!
  10. If you want to win one of the sponsored prizes, you must tweet about your game and document its development, using the hashtag #libGDXJam and the handles @robovm and@robotality.

First of all, you can participate in the jam without following these rules! In that case, you will not qualify for the prizes though.

Documenting your progress is a great way of sharing your experience, and an invaluable tool for others to learn. Making a bit of noise on Twitter is also a great way to give back to our sponsors. Chaining those 2 things together via rule 9 is my evil overlord plan to make everyone happy.

Here are a few examples of tweets:

Progress screenshot of my #libGDXJam entry @robovm @robotality

New dev log entry for my #libGDXJam game @robovm @robotality

For the dev logs, we want quality first and foremost! Progress screenshots, descriptions of problems you ran into and their solutions, streaming and so on is what we want to see! Just mindless spamming will not get you anywhere.

Prizes & Judging

We are happy to have RoboVM and Robotality as sponsors for the following prizes:

  • Grand Prize: Mac Mini, sponsored by RoboVM.
  • Silver: iPad, sponsored by RoboVM.
  • Bronze: iPod Touch, sponsored by RoboVM.
  • For 20 random submissions: Steam keys for Halfway, sponsored by Robotality.
  • For another 5 random submissions: libGDX Jam t-shirt.

To qualify for any of the prizes, you'll need to follow rule 10 as outlined above. Judging works as follows:

  • The community can vote on itch.io from the 19th of January to the 2nd of February.
  • The Grand Prize will be awarded to the entry with the highest community votes on itch.io. This way the highest quality entry will win!
  • The Silver and Bronze prizes will be awarded to the entries with the best mixture of dev logs and tweets and community votes. * Our sponsors and the libGDX core team will pick these entries. This should motivate people to make some noise on the web and document their progress for the greater good of the community!
  • The random awards guarantee that everyone has a chance to win a prize!
  • The winners will be announced on the 3rd of February!

Timetable

  • Theme Voting round 1: Nov. 22nd – Dec. 11th
  • Final Theme Voting: Dec. 11th – Dec. 18th
  • Jam: Dec. 18th – Jan. 18th
  • Judging: Jan 19th – Feb. 2nd

You can read the full details here on github.

GameDev News


17. December 2015

 

Just in time for the first ever LibGDX Game Jam, LibGDX 1.7.2 was released. 

image

 

This released included the following updates:

[1.7.2]
- Added AndroidAudio#newMusic(FileDescriptor) to allow loading music from a file descriptor, see #2970
- Added GLOnlyTextureData, which is now the default for FrameBuffer and FrameBufferCubemap, see #3539
- Added rotationChanged() for Actor class, called when rotation changes, see https://github.com/libgdx/libgdx/pull/3563
- Fixed crash on MacOS when enumerating connected gamepads.
- ParticleEmitter no longer says it's complete when it's set to continuous, see #3516
- Improved JSON parsing and object mapping error messages.
- Updated FreeType from version 2.5.5 to 2.6.2.
- Fixed corrupt FreeType rendering for some font sizes.
- API Change: FreeTypeFontParameter has new fields for rendering borders and shadows.
- FreeTypeFontParameter can render much better fonts at small sizes using gamma settings.
- BitmapFont can now render missing (tofu) glyph for glyphs not in the font.
- FreeTypeFontGenerator depreacted methods removed.
- Fixed BitmapFont color tags changing glyph spacing versus not using color tags. BitmapFont#getGlyphs has a new paramter. See #3455.
- Skin's TintedDrawable now works with TiledDrawable. #3627
- Updated jnigen to Java Parser 2.3.0 (http://javaparser.github.io/javaparser/).
- FreeType fonts no longer look terrible at small size. This is a big deal!
- Updated to RoboVM 1.12.0, includes tvOS support!
 

Full details are available here.

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